Change of boss tends to improve results, says BBC survey

Harry Redknapp and Rafael Benitez

After dropping just 13 points in his side's first 25 league matches this season, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has emerged as the most effective manager in English football's top four divisions,

However, 19 of the 29 changes in full-time managerial positions during the current campaign have been followed by a rise in the number of points per game won.

The trend is even more pronounced when a club has chosen, rather than been forced into a change of boss.

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth reign came second, while Malky Mackay came in third.

Howe returned to the Cherries and and has won 41 points from 18 matches since - a return of 2.27 points per game.

At the bottom end of the table, Mark Robson's solo spell at Barnet, before is the worst managerial spell.

Robson is the only manager below former QPR boss Mark Hughes in the table. Hughes left Loftus Road having won just 0.33 points per game this season.

The Welshman was replaced by Harry Redknapp who has returned 1.08 points per game in an apparent vindication of chairman Tony Fernandes's decision.

However, QPR's west London neighbours Chelsea have slipped off the pace at the opposite end of the Premier League table after swapping Roberto Di Matteo for Rafael Benitez in their dugout.

Di Matteo, whose failing in the Champions League may have proved his undoing, was sacked with his side four points off then-leaders Manchester City.

That gap from the top has increased to 16 points under Benitez, who has delivered 1.69 points a game - down from Di Matteo's two points a game.

Almost two thirds of instances however have followed the trend set by Redknapp rather than Benitez.

And in the 22 cases where a club has actively chosen to change managers, rather than their boss leave, on 16 occasions, or 73% of the time, a the team has then accumulated points at a faster rate.

The biggest improvement has come under Howe whose return to Bournemouth has seen the club rise from 16th to fourth.

The 35-year-old has returned 2.27 points per game - an improvement of 1.47 points per game on what was achieved by his predecessor Paul Groves.

Blackburn's decision to appoint Henning Berg in the wake of Steve Kean's departure has done the most to hinder a side's momentum with Kean's two points per game slowing to 0.6 under the Norwegian before his dismissal after 57 days in charge.

Pat Nevin has experienced a change of managers from both the dressing room and the board room.

The former Chelsea and Everton winger spent four years as Motherwell chief executive after retiring from playing.

"There often is a dead-cat bounce," he told BBC Sport.

"If you change it around and bring in someone to have a fresh look around that can have an immediate effect.

"In the simplest terms, for an individual player all bets are off again. You start from scratch with a new manager and you need to redouble your efforts to impress him.

"Their spirits are immediately lifted and overall it is a psychological positive.

"I think I was a hell of a lot more reticent that your average chief executive - I only made one change [sacking Billy Davies in 2001] in my four years in charge.

"Every club is different and has a different view, but it is incumbent on you sometimes to take a decision that may not be very popular.

"You may not even really want to take it, but if you truly believe it is for the good of the club long term then you have to make that decision."

The , featuring every club in England's top four divisions, is available on a separate page of the BBC Sport website.

2012-13 Managerial League Table top ten
1. Sir Alex FergusonManchester United2.48 points per game
2. Eddie HoweBournemouth2.27
3. Malky MackayCardiff2.17
4. Roberto ManciniManchester City2.12
5. David FlitcroftBarnsley2.00
6. Brian FlynnDoncaster2.00
7. Steve KeanBlackburn2.00
8. Roberto di MatteoChelsea2.00
9. John WardBristol Rovers2.00
10. Micky AdamsPort Vale1.96
2012-13 Managerial League Table bottom ten
125. Mark RobsonBarnet 0.27 points per game
124. Mark Hughes Queens Park Rangers 0.33
123. John Ward Colchester 0.50
122. Neale Cooper Hartlepool0.50
121. Dean SaundersWolves0.50
120. Terry BrownAFC Wimbledon0.57
119. Gary WaddockWycombe 0.57
118. Paul JewellIpswich 0.58
117. Henning BergBlackburn0.60
116. Mauricio PochettinoSouthampton 0.66

Figures correct as of Thursday, 7 February.